Calcutta: The IFA Shield final will be a clash between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. There will be no Douglas da Silva in the East Bengal midfield though.
The Brazilian, quite a mainstay in midfield, picked up his second yellow of the tournament in the semi-final against Ever-Ready on Friday and will have to serve a one-match ban which happens to be the title-decider. Coach Subhas Bhowmick, though, refuted suggestions that it would be a big blow.
“We are already without regulars like Bhaichung Bhutia, Alvito D’Cunha, Mahesh Gawli and M. Suresh. No blow is big for our team. It’s unfortunate that Douglas won’t be with us for the final. Nothing more than that,” said the maverick coach. He refused to elaborate on the prospect of meeting Barreto and Co. without Douglas.
“It wasn’t a bad performance today, considering we missed so many players. It happens in football. Sometimes you strike the right rhythm and sometimes you lose it. Today was not bad but should we have converted more chances.”
His Ever-Ready counterpart Shankar Banerjee, doing duty in place of the indisposed Amal Dutta, said inexperience let his team down. “Almost all in our team are newcomers. A semi-final against East Bengal is too much for them, but they fought well to prevent a bigger defeat.”